The backstitch is one of the basic stitches used in hand embroidery. Like the running stitch, the backstitch creates a line made up of straight stitches, but unlike the running stitch, there is no space between each stitch.
In the photo above, you can see the backstitch being used to embroider a word in my hand embroidered lettering tutorials. In that tutorial, I also cover how to “travel” the threads on the back of the fabric, to keep the work neat. If you’re looking for information on how to use the backstitch to embroider words or letters, you might want to check out that embroidered lettering lesson.
The backstitch is also used to form the base of many composite stitches. In the photo above, it is used as the base of Pekinese stitch, laced backstitch, and whipped backstitch. There are many other stitch combinations that employ backstitch, so never underestimate the value of this simple stitch!
Backstitch can be worked on pretty much any type of fabric. In the video below, I’m working with perle cotton #5 on linen. You don’t have use an even weave linen – you can use plain weave fabric of any type.
Here’s the video:
If you’re looking for more video instruction in hand embroidery, you’ll find lots of embroidery how-to videos here on Needle ‘n Thread.